Feeding Frenzy

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Quanset Beach is a pleasant community of hardy souls who make their living fishing among the creatures of the sea or the schools of tourists who descend upon Cape Cod throughout the summer. Aristotle Socarides could reasonably expect to spend the warm days on the water and his nights in pursuit of something of a diversionary nature. Admittedly, it would be a rather ordinary existence, not one calculated to invite the attention of the IRS or lead to a profile in PEOPLE magazine. But then, Socarides’ needs are simple and his pleasures inexpensive.

Still, as Socarides’ namesake would be the first to acknowledge, life is full of little surprises. First, there are the inexplicable happenings at the beach. Swimmers are being attacked by something in the water, and the community faces economic ruin. Not only that, but Socarides’ fishing partner may be forced to retire for reasons of health, and his personal finances are thereby jeopardized. It is fortunate, therefore, that Socarides is able to fall back on his alternate profession—private investigation. Tillie Talbot runs a summer camp for kids, but someone, for reasons obscure, is trying to force her into bankruptcy. Socarides is persuaded to determine the identity of the miscreants in the expectation that a time-honored institution might remain solvent.

Meanwhile, as if Socarides was not busy enough, he must attempt to repair a personal relationship and survive a visit from his rather formidable mother. It seems that Cousin Alexander is seemingly destined to be incarcerated, despite his relatively tender years, unless Socarides is able to intervene. In short, it is business as usual for this engaging series character.